Jude (Part 2)

Jude (Part 2)

Once again we will be looking into Jude. This is, as the title states, part 2, there is also an introduction. If you have not yet read those i would suggest going back and reading those before continuing here.

Jude is writing about those who have crept into the church unnoticed. The warning is for us to be alert. So that we do not fall prey to them. To continue to search the Scriptures daily so that we remain knowledgeable and able to spot the imposter.  These folks have come in the side door, they slipped in the back. Yet, their resume and their teachings are not the same. In as much as they have subtly shifted meaning, context, and even grace, ultimately denying the very person of Jesus, while claiming His name.

Verse 8 reads,¬†8¬†Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile [i]angelic majesties.¬†These men, by dreaming, let me say this, that dreaming isn’t bad, it is good, and we should have lofty dreams. However, these men were not dreaming lofty God-sized¬†dreams, they were dreaming as men. It was for power, prestige, influence that these men dreamed. We know this because they defiled the flesh, this is the same as “strange flesh” that of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is a perverted sense of grace and self-assumed authority in matters best left to God’s Word and not man’s opinion. You see they reject¬†all authority to include Church authority and all the way down the line to government authority. They have taken it upon themselves to pronounce judgment rather than hang onto the¬†authority of Scripture. Thumbing their noses at Jesus Himself as they curse the very Word.

These men are like hidden reefs that would shipwreck your faith. Pual writes to Timothy in 1:18-20 says,¬†“This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding¬†faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.” These men are hollow, waterless clouds, pushed my any which wind that blows, in other words, their moral compass is broken and they are persuaded by the mood of the people rather than the Word of God. Trees without fruit. We are told that we will know them by their fruit, Jude isn’t saying anything new and yet we need to be reminded.

8¬†Yet in the same way, these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile [i]angelic majesties. 9¬†But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, ‚ÄúThe Lord rebuke you!‚ÄĚ 10¬†But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are [j]destroyed. 11¬†Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay [k]they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. 12¬†These are the men who are [l]hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, [m]doubly dead, uprooted;13¬†wild waves of the sea, casting up their own [n]shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the [o]black darkness has been reserved forever. (Jude 1:8-13)

Take a deep breath. Ask yourself this, are you seeking the approval of man or of God? Let us together walk the road less traveled and seek the will of God, dream God-sized dreams and live out our lives flowing from the grace that we have been shown. Not by running from God’s Word, or watering it down, but by living it out — that we might save some.

You are loved,

cj

Jude (Part 1)

Jude (Part 1)

Let me start here: if you have not read Jude (an introduction), stop now and go read it . . . it will make more sense that way. However, as a reminder to those who did read it let me refresh your memory. Jude is one of four brothers of Jesus and at some point led the Church in Jerusalem. He came to faith after Jesus’ resurrection. This same Jude then pens this letter and it is powerful! As a call to repentance, as a reminder of judgment, and as a warning to stay alert as we contend for the faith.

He doesn’t waste time with small talk, antidotes, or gibber, he is very matter-of-fact. In the verses, we will look at this week, we will see his heart, and his understanding as the brother of Jesus and leader of the Church. Let’s look at verse 5, “Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.” Here is an interesting point, there are a couple manuscripts out there as well as a few versions of the Bible that use “Jesus” in place of “the Lord”. Could these early manuscripts be more accurate to Jude’s point? i think so. Jude had come to an understanding of who Jesus was and was not ashamed of it.

We love grace, i love grace. We preach¬†grace, i preach grace, and it is glorious! However, we mustn’t lose sight of Jesus. Jesus, actively a part of the Old Testament, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, saves us by His cross. He leads us free from the chains of sin, out of bondage and into freedom. As the Israelites out of Egypt and still, subsequently (lit. the second time) He destroys those who did not believe. Folks, there is judgment. There is a hell and it has been preached since the formation of the Church. Do not be led astray. We must continue to contend for the faith in a world that would pervert the grace of God, even some in the Church.

5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that [e]the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, [f]subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after [g]strange flesh, are exhibited as an [h]example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. (NASB)

5¬†Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved[c] a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6¬†And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day‚ÄĒ 7¬†just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire,[d] serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. (ESV)

Pray with me for insight, for understanding, for fresh revelation into God’s Word. Let the Spirit of God speak to our hearts through these words written by Jude inspired by the Spirit. May we grow in wisdom and faith, as we seek to walk humbly with Jesus, contending for the faith. Until next week . . .

you are loved,

cj

Jude (an introduction)

Jude (an introduction)

We live in a very perplexing time as a church. There are conflicting sides of “faith”, grace, grace and more grace and the super pious, full of law, rules, and condemnation. It is easy to look at Jesus and side with the grace side of the argument. Besides it just seems nicer. The movement against judgment because “how can a loving God judge anyone?” is a very popular movement, even in the most conservative¬†of churches. Now i don’t pretend to know or have all the answers. i seek the Lord daily and He has on more than one occasion corrected my thought. Which He promised to do, through Paul, the Lord taught us in Philippians 3:15, “So all of us who are spiritually mature should think this way, and if anyone thinks differently, God will reveal it to him or her.”

i have been in Jude recently and even though i taught this book at Alaska Bible Institute, in Homer, Alaska, i still find it both enlightening and challenging. i discover what seems new or just new perspective given the move of society. i want to take the next few weeks and look into the depths of Jude. What did one of the four brothers of Jesus have to say? This Jude eventually led the Church in Jerusalem. He didn’t follow Jesus right away, arguably he came to faith after the resurrection. Which says a lot, and i find particularly interesting and convincing of Jesus’ resurrection and victory over the grave. It has two possible dates of being written, 50 A.D. or 90 A.D. many lean towards an earlier date, although, some settle in the middle 70 A.D.

He was writing to a Church that was beginning to express itself in ways that were contrary to the teachings of Jesus. They were swaying, not from faith, but from judgment. The early Church began to gamble a bit in their expression of faith living as they saw fit rather than following Jesus and honoring Him through their life choices. Jude isn’t casting anyone into hell, in fact, he begins with this greeting, “Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and brother of James. To those who are called, loved by God the Father and kept safe by Jesus Christ. May you have more and more mercy, peace, and love.” Not the condemnation one would expect given his warning.

3 “Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. 4¬†I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God‚Äôs marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Jude 3-4)

Sit in that for a moment. Weigh the words. Understand the author. Give heed to his warning. There is more, so much more. We will look more and more into this . . . verse by verse. But for now, pray, pray on this, the introduction, and then these two verses. Jude is a short book, one chapter, twenty-five verses. You can easily read it in a minute or two or a few seconds for you speed readers. Do it. One time read through it quickly. Then, go back and reread the first four verses. Then sit, weigh, understand, heed, and pray. Until next week . . .

You are loved,

cj